Protestors gather in Council Bluffs against proposed changes to child labor laws

Protestors gather in opposition to proposed changes to Iowa child labor laws
Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 5:34 PM CDT
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - Saturday, parents and union workers from across Iowa gathered to protest proposed rollbacks to Iowa’s child labor laws.

In Council Bluffs, people gathered in front of Wilson Middle School with picket signs.

GOP members are proposing SF 5-42 and HF 647, which include over 20 changes.

Some of what’s included: kids as young as 14 would be allowed to work 6-hour nightly shifts, 15-year-olds would be allowed to work on assembly production lines and 16 and 17-year-olds would be allowed to serve alcohol.

Protestors say this legislation puts kids and teens at risk.

”It’s not the children of the doctors and the lawyers and company owners that end up in essence being forced to go to work, it’s those folks most marginalized in our society,” said Former Iowa State Senator Mike Gronstal. “Folks whose parents are making minimum wage and they’re scratching their heads thinking how do we make ends meet. This will make it more likely that those kids of those families will end up having to go into the workforce.”

Demonstrations were also held across multiple cities, including at the state capital in Des Moines, Davenport and Sioux City.